Belfast Telegraph

Emulating O’Neill is challenge for Hughes at QPR

QPR's players are hoping replacing Neil Warnock with Mark Hughes will have as big an impact as Sunderland's decision to bring in Martin O'Neill for Steve Bruce.

O'Neill has transformed the Black Cats’ fortunes since becoming their manager last month, dragging them away from the relegation zone and into the top half of the Premier League.

Rangers midfielder Shaun Derry believes Hughes can do the same at Loftus Road, admitting he had already been wowed by the “aura” surrounding his new boss.

“It's vital that when you make a change, you make it for someone who's going to come in with that type of pedigree,” said Derry.

“He's got an aura about him — and so have his staff.

“It's very important that we now get a few days of training in under him, so that he can stamp his mark on us short term and show what he wants us to do on Sunday. It's a huge game for us.”

Rangers could find themselves in the bottom three before they face Newcastle.

Derry, 34, added: “It's going to be a difficult game for us, but we're hoping that our new manager can have the same impact that Martin O'Neill has had on Sunderland.

“It sometimes goes to show that a change is good and hopefully that will apply to QPR.”

There has been talk player unrest contributed to Warnock's sacking, an issue chief executive Philip Beard sidestepped on Wednesday, but goalkeeper Paddy Kenny had nothing but praise for the man he played for at Bury and Sheffield United before rejoining him at Loftus Road.

“Everyone knows what sort of a job he did here,” Kenny said.

“He took over the club when it was near the bottom of the league and got us promoted, but the club feels it is time to move on and hopefully that is what we can do now by winning some games.”

Hughes will be without suspended captain Joey Barton, while Adel Taarabt and Armand Traore are both on African Nations Cup duty.

Alejandro Faurlin is out for the season after rupturing a cruciate ligament in last Saturday's FA Cup tie against MK Dons.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph